“President Donald Trump is facing criticism for speaking warmly toward authoritarian rulers in countries including North Korea, Egypt, and Turkey. Last weekend, Trump invited Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines whose government is accused of killing thousands of people in a crackdown on illegal drugs, to visit the White House. Human rights advocates argued the invitation amounted to condoning the violence, but the White House insisted it was a strategic move,” Madeline Conway writes for Politico.
“Consider the Trump budget proposal, which includes dramatic funding cuts to the State Department and foreign aid. Such cuts would take away important diplomatic levers for handling crises. Even if these cuts are not as draconian in the end, the proposal signals that the White House doesn’t value non-military policy tools and probably won’t rely on them much,” Elizabeth Saunders writes for the Washington Post.
“The critics have gotten a lot wrong and failed to give credit where credit is due. The Trump administration has left behind the rhetoric of the campaign trail and has begun to adopt foreign policies that are, for the most part, well suited to the challenges ahead. Trump inherited a crumbling international order from President Barack Obama, but he has assembled a highly capable national security team to help him update and revitalize it,” Matthew Kroenig writes for Foreign Affairs.